Alfons Schilling

Alfons Schilling

Alfons Schilling, OhneTitel 1962

Alfons Schilling used to spin his round canvases on the wall and throw the paint on while they spun. The date is a shocker. A common response today would be that he anticipates Damien Hirst’s Spin Paintings, but I think it makes more sense to compare

Emilio Vedova, Tondo non dove 1986

Emilio Vedova, Tondo non dove 1986

his work with the tondos of Emilio Vedova. Schilling is a generation younger than Vedova, but the two of them are closer to each other in spirit and in age than either of them is to Hirst, and both are hyperactive expressionists—charmers in other words, and

Alfons Schilling

Alfons Schilling, Cosmos Action Painting/Desperate Motion 1962 (film stills)

a little bit comic. In any case, round pictures are really interesting. I guess that the spinning idea comes out of the way that we can rotate when we look at them, if they are above us on a ceiling. This is one of the places where 18th. century art enters the present.

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